2017 De Tierra Cabernet Franc – Best of Class at the International Cabernet Franc Wine Competition & Celebration

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The Awards

At the April 2022 International Cabernet Franc Blind Wine Competition and Celebration held in Copperopolis, California, the 2017 De Tierra Vineyards Cabernet Franc won several awards. Two sets of judges presided over the tasting, one being the Professional Judges and the other being People’s Choice Judges. The People’s Choice Judges for category 3 ($51 to $75), awarded a Silver Medal and Best of Class to the 2017 De Tierra Vineyards Cabernet Franc. The Professional Judges also awarded it a medal. For more information on the Annual International Cabernet Franc Wine Competition and Celebration click on the following links:

Blind Wine Competition: https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2022/04/09/3rd-annual-cabernet-franc-wine-competition-celebration-results/

Wine Tasting & Appetizers: https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2022/04/11/wine-tasting-appetizers-at-the-3rd-annual-cabernet-franc-celebration/

Winemaker’s Dinner Featuring Cabernet Franc’s: https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2022/04/14/cabernet-franc-wine-competition-and-celebration-winemakers-dinner/

The Winery

The vineyard was planted in 2003 in De Tierra Valley, between Salinas and Monterey about 6 miles south of Hwy 68. The vineyard is called the Russell Estate and has been organic since the beginning. The co-owners of the winery are Dan McDonnal and Alix Lynn Bosch. The wine maker is Olivier Rousett, originally from France but has been making wine for the last 12 years in America and another 8 years previously in France. He has been with them approximately one year.

De Tierra tries to focus their production on Monterey varietals. Other wines produced by De Tierra Vineyards include: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Riesling, Sangiovese, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, three proprietary red blends and of course Cabernet Franc. All the wine varietals are small lot with only 200-300 cases per each varietal. They have gained some excellent traction in winning 2021 Gold Medal Monterey Wine Competition in 2021 with their Syrah. Ditto for their Rose. In 2022, their Chardonnay was Gold and their Riesling was rated 98 points.

Their tasting room is located in Carmel-By-The-Sea at Mission 3SE, 5th Ave in downtown Carmel.

The Wine – 2017 De Tierra Cabernet Franc

First on the eyes a deep purple hue and medium viscosity. On the nose, dark cherry and hint of smokiness. Where the wine excels is on the palate with blackberry, black tea, plum and a strong sense of trace minerals. On the finish damp musty forest meadow surrounds each sip. Missing were the strong pyrazines but such a soft rounded finish with embracing tannins makes this wine enjoyable. The wine is held in 25% new French oak and balance being various countries of neutral oak.  The wine was aged two years in the barrel before bottling. The wine is listed on their website for $65/bottle. This Cabernet Franc also won a Gold Medal at the 2018 American Fine Wine Competition and scored 92 points.

The Food and Wine Pairing

The meal for the evening consisted of a tri-tip steak marinated 24 hours in a Chaka marinade, then seared on the BBQ at 650 degrees and served medium rare. Accompanying the meal was a fresh garden salad and garlic French bread. Additionally a Greek Pesto Pasta Salad was served. Ingredients for the salad included: Kosher salt, fusilli pasta, pesto sauce, extra-virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, black pepper, feta cheese, cucumber, tomatoes, purple onions and Kalamata olives. The meal with this wine and friends was fantastic.

Looking forward to my next visit to Carmel and stopping by to taste some of their other award winning wines!






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